Israel to open embassy in Kigali

Israel will soon open an embassy in Kigali, country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday, following his meeting with President Paul Kagame.

The two leaders met in Nairobi, Kenya on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

In a tweet following their meeting, Netanyahu announced that the move is part of the State of Israel to expand operations in the continent and deepen partnership with African states.

“This move is part of an expansion of Israel’s presence in Africa and deepening cooperation between Israel and the countries of Africa,” his tweet read in part.

Currently, the closet Israeli Embassy is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Rwanda in 2015 established an embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel to boost partnership and cooperation between the two states.

During Netanyahu’s visit to Rwanda last year, the two countries signed three bilateral pacts; joint declaration of intent on innovation, visa exemption for holders of diplomatic passports and joint declaration in the field of agriculture.

Following the visit, a number of firms have since expressed interest to establish presence in the country, with Motorola already opening up their regional office in Rwanda.

In 2014, the two countries had signed a partnerships establishing a forum for consultations and boosting Rwanda’s foreign direct investments from Israeli businesses.

Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo revealed that the two countries are currently in negotiations on accommodating refugees from Africa on Israeli territory who are unwilling to return to their countries of origin.

She said that they were yet to reach a conclusion and that the talks that have been going on for a while, could see up to 10,000 asylum seekers settled in Rwanda.

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